Santos Party House

Was surprisingly disappointing.

We’re still on Friday, folks.  Yes, after Governors Island I cleaned myself up and hauled myself back into the world.  More specifically, I hauled myself down to Canal and Lafayette in Chinatown to check out Andrew W.K.’s club, Santos Party House, with a small gathering of Pine View people.

I’d been curious about Santos Party House since reading this New York Magazine article a few months ago.  Well this sounds fun, I thought to myself.  I love Andrew W.K.  I enjoy dancing.  I like the idea of a laid-back, unpretentious dance space, imbued with Andrew W.K.’s quirky-awesome all-inclusive joyful philosophy of fun for all and all for fun.

I think the publicity etc. has sort of spoiled Santos’ vibe.  We went on a Friday night, which is one of the more popular nights because Q-Tip is the DJ.  Or at least he’s supposed to be, I don’t know if he DJed after I left (which was a little bit before 2:00) but he certainly didn’t spin while I was there, he just sort of flitted about in a green shirt.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

So there was initial confusion in terms of entering Santos because the club schedule works via shows, called “parties” in Santos-speak, and there was a mess because the earlier show was overlapping.  Initially they wouldn’t let us in to even just hang out but after a bit of persuasion they let us stand at the bar for the end of the first “party.”  We were then kicked back out into the street for the later, Q-Tip party.  We re-entered the club, paid the cover, etc.  The club is split into two rooms: a downstairs lounge type area which is dark and groovy, and a really great upstairs performance area with a large stage, video monitors with installations, and a giant disco ball.


We hung out in the downstairs area, which was playing questionable R&B music, until a little before midnight (I think) where when we wandered back upstairs to see the live show which preceded supposed Q-Tip spinnage.  The first band was awful and nondescript.  The second performer, a soul singer with great hair and a better voice named Melanie Fiona, was second, and she was much loved by the crowd.  Probably because she was hot.

Q-Tip and Va$htie
Q-Tip and Va$htie
Melanie Fiona
Melanie Fiona

After Melanie Fiona actual music/dancing started.  And for the first half an hour or so the music was good.  Dancing was good.  Fun was had.  I could understand the vibe of Santos–despite the surly and unfriendly bouncers and the expensive drinks (although reasonable in terms of New York City prices) and high cover–as being super-fun and all-inclusive and in the vein of the neon-colored signs Andrew W.K. posts around the club encouraging dance and joy and drinking and fun.  For a brief period of time, all was well.





A break-dance circle even happened, which was more fun than it sounds. We also did the Apache, which was definitely was more fun than it sounds.



It was all downhill from there, alas.  The club got too crowded, to the point where I couldn’t even dance because I kept getting jostled by pushy hipster girls with horrible hair cuts and large men with questionable intentions.  The music got repetitive and boring, and became entirely not-danceable.  Also, it got hot.  And crowded.  And boring.  Really, more than anything, it was boring.  Which, you never want a club to be boring.  So a little before 2:00 I left.  There was a line outside the club, a long line, and it would probably just get longer.  Maybe Q-Tip started spinning after I left?  Maybe that made it better?  Either way, I’d be willing to check out Santos on another night (not-Fridays have rotational “parties,” including less-known artists and even performance pieces) but I think Friday night at Santos + Lindsay = Failure.

Or maybe I’m just getting old and boring myself.  Who knows.

One thought on “Santos Party House

  1. Without nit-picking, iff you were the Huey-Lewis-haired individual, you were let in before 10pm, the official door time of the OPEN party as announced everywhere. Your folks allowed to hang out despite not paying the early cover, and you were forewarned that you’d have to clear out so as to honor our deal with the OPEN DJ’s. We appreciate your complaints but not those about our security, which do not take into account the concessions made for your party – and to think we didn’t even know you were press!

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